I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world,
to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

10 April 2014

Shelter from the Storm

A rain day, one
I watch from indoors
though later I must go out.

Last night I called dragons
into the temple — four,
one to each quarter.

Breathing together
in circle, we women 
built a pillar of light.

My friend goes home
to sell her house and move
because the floods are coming.

My little cats love storms
and gaze from the top step
under the porch roof.

April PAD Challenge 2014, day 9: shelter


A New Form:

Each verse is an "American sentence" a 17-syllable form invented by Allen Ginsberg as a Western type of haiku. For this poem I wanted something slightly discontinuous like a ghazal, but with fewer constraints, and the American sentence seemed to lend itself to that end. I had thought of using couplets as in the ghazal, but each sentence fell naturally into three lines — which of course is more haiku-like.

Over at dVerse at present, Gay Reiser Cannon invites us to invent and name our own forms. This is a derivative form, but since it gives me something I've been seeking for years — something looser than a ghazal, which still creates that connection/separation between stanzas with an overall theme — and as I plan to use it again, I'll claim it and name it Ghazal-type 17-3. This may sound a bit clumsy, but allows for me to find more "Ghazal types" in the future.
         

21 comments:

  1. Nicely done Rosemary; I love that you were able to do this with American sentences...

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    1. Thanks, Sharon! (Of course they are not normally set as 3 lines, but fell into that form quite nicely, and as they are an offshoot of haiku... A bit of a mixture of forms here, really!)

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  2. That's the beauty of poetry...as poets we have free reign to use existing forms, or modify them to suit our needs. I like how you have taken American Sentences and partially restored them to their haiku roots, but without using a 5-7-5 constraint. Nicely done!

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  3. Yes - the connection to the storms runs throughout and does set up the "ghazal" quality. I, too, love ghazals (and pantoums - I thought about trying a variation of that). This was effective and because of its simple diction makes it a nice discipline while giving the "feel" of free verse. Very satisfying form Rosemary. I will definitely try it.

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  4. cool stuff...i like the stanza calling in the dragons....it adds a dash of magic...having lived through a flood, i can understand her a bit, but not easy picking up roots...i love american sentences, so this is right up my alley...smiles.

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  5. You have worked the American sentence form well. I liked particularly the last stanza about the cats. In contrast, my dogs do not like storms! (Nor do I.)

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    1. I think it's unusual for cats or dogs to like storms!

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  6. imaginative and it sparkles - I like this form

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  7. Can I be honest and say that I was looking out for a link between the couplets, like in the ghazal. A rhyming word, not necessarily a phrase, but a little something to make these treasures hang together in my mind.
    Having said that, I would have no idea how to do that ;-)

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    1. By all means be honest! It's true that it's only loosely related to the ghazal, but it would certainly be possible to use a rhyming word or other link, which might well improve it.

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  8. Very nice. The progression in this is very much like a ghazal.. The gentle description of loosely connected sentences still forming a theme of a day when you can stay indoors... And I like the calling dragons a lot.

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  9. Nicely done re: the form. The common theme is the storm, but I did feel there was a bit of choppiness or disconnection between the different 'sentences' - deliberate, I suppose, but I'd have liked more of a flow.

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    1. Well yes, the disconnection was deliberate, as it is my favourite thing about the ghazal. Sometimes I prefer a touch of mystery to coherence. But as I said to jo-hanna, it would be possible to include links, and I might try it that way next time.

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  10. I love the American sentence so this worked especially well for me and lent itself to the Sacred Circle/Flood theme, adding a sense of mystical and mystery. And thanks for the name for my form: Factand. I love it!

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  11. If only I knew how to call dragons...what fun (or not so much fun) would that be.

    This is a nice and simple form. Nothing wrong with clunky names...I'm guessing the 17 is for the number of syllables and the 3 is for the number of lines. I do like how each stanza can stand alone...connected but disconnected similar to the way the ghazal...and without the pesky repeating end word...though I think it might be neat to see how that can be brought into the form. really nicely done.

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  12. These glimpses of life of yours gave me understanding of your environment, Rosemary. I haven't tried any forms you mixed here so i can't say well re: the form but i really enjoyed your verses here. Smiles.

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    1. Well, that's the main thing, Kelvin. The form should be in the service of the poetry, I think, and poetry resides in the indefinable.

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  13. Your American sentences work well into short and simple stanzas. I enjoyed reading about your kind of rainy days, particularly your calling dragons!

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  14. Reading this felt like glimpsing multiple scenes in a disjointed manner but which, most certainly, bear the connection to the other. Together, it beautifully enriches the entire poems just like a wide canvas with many separate details finally comes together to form one beautifully intact image.

    Great work with the prompt!

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    1. Many thanks Enigma. That is exactly what I was trying for.

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